140312 - Congregational Development Ministry Awards @ Samadhi Mandir
mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim yat-kripa tam aham vande shri-gurum dina-taranam Paramananda Madhavam Sri Caitanya Iswaram Hari Om tatsat
In 1977 I asked Prabhupad about developing the congregation. Since at that time we were attacked in Mayapur and there was the congregation which supported us and saved us. So he gave some instructions which being following ever since. And our congregation has been major source of strength. In Malaysia when the GBC decided to leave ISKCON, it was the congregation that supported us. They wanted to stay in ISKCON. Similarly I asked Radhe Shyam of Pune whether he is in support of the congregation or the temple devotees. He said “well, 97% of our temple building funds was obtained by the congregation, 3% by the temple devotees”. So naturally I will be a supporter of the congregation. So we have both, we have temple and we have the congregation people. Actually we support both. But I wanted to the congregation should be supported and recognized that they are doing a very important service. Prabhupad was very proud that three Grhastas went to UK he said “my Guru Maharaj sent Sanyasis but they failed. I sent Grhastas they were successful. So that was after the News paper heading “Hare Krsna rocks London”. So we are very happy that we have Bhakti Caitanya Maharaj here, he is always been a supporter of the congregation development. Our congregation has been very active in preaching. We need a Russian translation?
One couple this year in Middle East they told me that they have made 76 devotees. Haribol! So we know that our Brahmacharis, Sanyasis they are able to do full time service. But our Grhastas as they have to take care of the children after their work, they have their family duties, in spite of that they are also active in Bhakti Vriksha , Namahatta ,small groups and they are making many devotees. So they should also be recognized. And I was thinking that there are some devotees who are like touch stones. Whoever they meet those people become devotees. And Prabhupad is termed as senapati Bhakta in the Caitanya mangal. So if we use that, means general. When our devotees they also able to make other devotees as maha rathis, adi rathis, rathis. Bhakti Vinod Thakur said this is a medicine to cure you from the disease of Kali Yuga. And he said “I fell at the feet of the Lord and I begged Him please give me the holy name then I got it! I got it! I got it! Haribol! Not me Bhakti Vinod Thakur. I am still begging. I am waiting. So I am just looking for the politically correct Nomenclature. Maharathi may be too violent. So some may giving out medicine that is satvik. May be the different preaching skill, Nomenclature to describe these devotees who make so many other devotees. We can see in the Namahatta what Bhakti Vinod Thakur called them. He had Barbers, laundry men, there was specific cases. A Barber was taken some person who is over grown little and he would preach and get the person rightly situated. And the laundry man he is the one who has someone’s dirty clothes whose consciousness is dirty. He takes the other’s dirty clothes and makes it clean. So those are special cases. Pancaratna said but generally for preachers are outreach would be able to inspire many people. What nomenclature what name we give them. My idea is completely wrong. Anyway we have these wonderful devotees and they are taking great responsibilities, studying many small groups, having a very nice Sunday program, doing other things. So we appreciate that you all are here today and congratulations to all the award winners and we hope that the blessings of Srila Prabhupad and the previous Acharyas be on you.
This is interesting how in his last letter to his disciples Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur he wrote that I can’t remember the whole phrase now, but it was print books, distribute books and increase the Navadvip parikrama and from these enhance the Namahatta and then print more books, distribute more books and enhance the Navadvip parikrama and make more Namahattas. So it came around in a circle and we know that Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur he made sixty four mathas but in his last letter he wrote about Namahatta. So whether you do Namahatta or you do urban style that is Bhakti Vriksha or do some other process like counselor groups, the whole point is that we should have more devotees, happier devotees, we should take care of the devotees. Thank you all. Haribol! Gauranga!